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A growing number of people who love children's stories, nature writing and Americana are turning to Holling as a timeless teacher of geography, culture, history, and adventure. Become a fan and continue sharing the excitement!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

HCH Information to ABC Organization

It was so nice to see my short letter on Holling Clancy Holling become an article in the American Book Collectors of Chidlrens' Literature spring/fall 2010 newsletter, at

Billie Levy, the editor, published an earlier article on Holling several years ago, and this helps keep the writer/artist's memory alive. Little by little, more of holling's work is being uncovered in what I can only call "literary archeology."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Paddle-to-the-Sea Film Is Stunning

We can all be indebted to Eli Ross and his response to my last post that a 28-minute Paddle-to-the-Sea film is available. (See This is Bill Mason’s film adaptation of the classic tale for the National Film Board of Canada.

It’s a film of pure joy. Please share it with your children…those of all ages.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Paddle-to-the-Sea, Timeless

So much effort, time and money are plowed into education and entertainment that it’s refreshing to note a simple work of art like Paddle-to-the-Sea is now approaching its 70th birthday and is still very much in print. In fact, has reduced the price of the hardcover to $13.60 and the paperback $8.60 as of this writing.

And it’s still the same charming, wonderful story. Joan Hoffman writes from the museum in her fall newsletter that a Michigan teacher told her she is currently reading Paddle-to-the-Sea with her fourth graders. She goes on to say, “The beauty of the language is such an important connection to teaching them to be better writers through the use of descriptive adjectives, great verbs and all the wonderful comparisons he has.”

If you would like to receive the newsletter, contact Joan at This issue discusses the work Holling did for Walt Disney, his early canoeing experiences in the area where he grew up, and his later home in southern California.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Holling’s Effect in Far Parts of the World

Joan Hoffman “introduced” me this week to a Holling fan who is a noted illustrator and portrait artist in his own right in New Zealand. I sent a note to Harmen Hielkema asking if he would elaborate on the influence Holling’s book had on his you. Below is the miniature memoir he sent back to me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

On my 7th birthday my grandfather, Henk Oostenrijk from the Netherlands, sent me a book voucher.

My mother and father took me to a bookstore in Auckland City where I chose Seabird, a beautiful, hard cover book for children written and illustrated by Holling Clancy Holling and published by Collins on the subject of Whaling. My mother dedicated the book for me by writing my birth date and my grandfather’s name on the flyleaf.

I no longer have that original copy. It was donated without my knowledge or approval to a local school fundraising book auction when my children were still attending primary school.

It did solve my father’s problem of what to give me for my 8th birthday. My obsession that year with Seabird gave him the cue. I received from him a copy of Paddle to the Sea. The following year it was Tree in the Trail.

Those three books changed my life forever. Long before I fully appreciated the literary contents of those books I was gazing in awe at Holling’s illustrations, many of which I copied. Not only that, I began to build my own canoes--models at first, and then on to the real thing.

Like Holling, I had a curiosity about many things and this lead to an interest in the canoes and the people of the Pacific Ocean. I was compelled to make sailing models of outrigger canoes, whittled out of the dry, woody flowering stems of the flax plant that flourishes in the coastal areas of New Zealand. My friends and I would send them racing across the bay and watch them diminish, longingly wondering where they might eventually end up, as they dwindled from sight; out to sea.

My first real canoe was designed by New Zealand designer, Frank Pelin, and built to his plans by my father and me. That canoe was a 15 foot, plywood, hard chine adaptation of an American Indian birch bark canoe. I named that canoe Seabird, and the canoe taught me about boat handling from a very young age. I used two types of paddle, the double Eskimo kayak style and the other the traditional single paddle. My friends and I cruised the sheltered local waterways north of Auckland where we fished and camped all summer long.

Again much influenced by Holling’s realist style and parallel to his path, I chose a career as a commercial graphic artist and mural painter, which eventually led to sculpture as well. These activities— though not my true passion—helped me to put food on the table for my family.

As I write this, I am now in my 50s and I still cherish and collect copies of Holling’s work. I haunt the children’s section of secondhand bookshops and charity shops always on the lookout for another, yet unseen Holling publication. In this way I have found a 1935 first edition of The Book of Indians, a later Collins republication of the same title, and a 1948 first edition Houghton Mifflin edition of Seabird.

My continuing curiosity about Holling lead me to Walt Giersbach’s blog which seeks to illuminate that which was previously unknown about the life and work of Holling C. Holling and his wife Lucille. Now, thanks to the efforts of people like Joan Hoffman of Michigan and others, details and artifacts from Holling’s life are being collected, displayed, recorded and published so that more may benefit from Holling’s rich legacy, the body of work that he left for our benefit and enjoyment.

Thanks, Holling C. Holling for daring to follow your dream and so influence the lives of people like me so far away here in New Zealand.

[More on Harmen Hielkema can be found on his Outrigger canoe blog, Harmen's Art blog is, and his Music blog is He lives in Rawene Hokianga, Northland, New Zealand.]

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Leslie Museum Now Opened!

Good news comes from Joan Hoffman's newsletter that the Holling museum has reopened after the flooding that temporaily put it out of business. She writes:

"Now we are back in business. The museum looks great and we had the best ever June visitor attendance. The Holling display portion of the museum turned out well, I think. Thanks to generous gifts of Holling items along with what we had, the displays have taken on a new look."

Main display parts, unified by labeled miniature canoe paddles, include:
• A two shelf glass case houses Holling items telling the story of Holling's years in the local area. On top of the case is an aquarium with two live hermit crabs. They help us tell the story of Pagoo.
• On the wall behind the glass case hang a framed portrait of Holling and three of his framed original paintings.
• On the left is a divider. This will be a rotating display of Holling's commercial art work. Currently appearing are Junior Home Magazine covers from 1928-29.
• To the right is a tall multi-shelved cabinet displaying Holling's children's books. There is a spot for Paddle, a model pueblo, a picture of the Hollings in the late 1930s looking over several of their World Museum dioramas,an assembled diorama and much more. Atop the cabinet is the long bow Holling made and used.
• Holling's Army jacket also is displayed. The story about that jacket appears elsewhere in the newsletter and earlier in this blog.

Monday, June 21, 2010

“Keep It Simple” Formula

One of the secrets to Holling’s enduring interest by young people is his simplified vocabulary. Dr. Seuss—Theodor Geisel—also realized this with his severely truncated lexicon in stories like The Cat in the Hat.

Holling’s Paddle-to-the-Sea has a Fog Index of 6.9, meaning 91% of everyday words we use are more difficult to read. His Flesch Reading Index score is 75.2, meaning 90% of other vocabulary is harder. Similarly, only 5% of Holling’s words are “complex. His word choices have just 1.4 syllables per word. And, there are just 12.3 words per sentence.

This doesn’t mean Holling wrote down to youngsters or was patronizing. It does mean a fifth grader can easily pick up a Holling book and understand the story. Home schooling sources regularly cite Holling’s books for their educational value. But, to a nine-year-old, Holling is a captivating guide to new worlds.

(A note of thanks for to E.J. Hirsch, Jr. for What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Fifth Grade Education, from which these statistics are cited.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Putting Archival Pieces Together

The museum in Leslie has received numerous personal items from Holling family members that broaden our insights into Holling, the naturalist and artist.

Paddle-to-the-Sea, for example, was dedicated to a boy named John Chapman. Holling at one time canoed with young Chapman’s father from Chicago to the Upper Peninsula of Lake Michigan. They took with them just three modern implements: an ax, a knife and a cooking pot, Joan Hoffman wrote in her October 2008 newsletter. In 1920, Holling painted a picture in oil of those items plus his hat, moccasins, and rolled-up hat. The painting, now more than four-score years old, has been mounted in an acid-free mat and a better frame with UV glass.

Holling’s other art found multiple uses. A humorous watercolor of a monkey on a carousel horse was annotated, “Design for a child’s magazine.” Holling, she writes, painted 18 cover designs from March 1928 to August 1929 for Junior Home Magazine. Each issue of the magazine had a Holling story in prose or verse that expanded on the cover. Suspecting the watercolor was destined for this publication, Ms. Hoffman has found four copies on eBay. Platt and Munk, the publishers, bought the plates and stories. Some of these paintings, along with re-edited stories, showed up several years later in Children of Other Lands.

Was Holling’s verse as literary as his art was esthetic? Perhaps not, but it still could be appealing to a 10-year-old child. The poem below illustrated the Junior Home Magazine cover with the red bridge.

Fishing Club for Members Only
[The first, fifth and sixth quatrains]

Down past the orchard, and beyond the lumber mill,
Where Simpson’s Creek slips through the fence, and spreads out with a swish,
Down where the cow path turns below the old red bridge,
We’ve organized a fishing club for boys who like to fish.

But now some girls would like to join! Why, girls can’t bait a hook!
They call our finest fishing poles “just ordinary sticks.”
They hate to look at angle worms: they squeal, and scare the fish away;
And then they bring their cats, and cats and dogs don’t mix.

You see our club is limited, positively limited,
Because the fish are limited; there aren’t but twenty-two,
And what with cats, and little girls that want to join and don’t like dogs—
I wish I weren’t President—I don’t know what to do!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quaker’s Kiddie Cutouts

In order to help Quaker Oats sell more Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice in the 1930s, Holling created a series called “American Frontiers.” The back and sides of each cereal box illustrated a famous wilderness explorer, a Native American of the region, a panorama of the country, dwellings of the period, and local animals. Children could cut out the figures and create their own diorama (but only after they'd eaten their cereal).

Joan Hoffman of the Leslie (Mich.) Museum brought this information to light after the museum acquired the tenth in the series, about Lewis and Clark, their guide and interpreter Sacajawea, the Rocky Mountains, an Indian camp, and regional animals.

The story, Joan says, was told in a small space at the bottom of the box:

“Louisiana. Vast. Unmapped. Canada clear to the Gulf. And none but the Indians knew it. . Spain’s men had found it. France held it. Then Spain. Then France. And we bought it. What held this platter of land? And where were the Rocky Mountains? Lewis and Clark would find out… Lewis knew men, and how to handle them, hungry. Clark knew wilderness as a flea the hairs on a dog. Their roustabouts couldn’t read Greek, but from St. Louis up the Missouri. Buffalo. Badlands. Plains endless. The cold. Rockies roaring in silence… And bird-woman, Sacajawea, babe on her back, guiding. Unraveling twisted Tongues… Clean to Oregon Coast. Bite of salt water… And Lewis and Clark – they lived both to be Governors. Why not? They had twirled the hemp for an endless rope of Frontiers.”

Purple prose, yes. And simplistic facts. But enough to thrill a child eating cereal. And enough to catch the attention of Houghton Mifflin, which would lead to a contract to write and illustrate Paddle-to-the-Sea.

If you have any other pieces in the American Frontiers series, please contact the Museum to exchange information: Ms. Joan Hoffman at

Monday, May 17, 2010

Looking for the Artist

One of the “black holes” in trying to relate to Holling, the person, lies in discovering what he looked like. I found no images. Unusual for a published author--then or now--not to show up in a Web search! Joan Hoffman, of the Leslie Museum, sent me some answers last week, as seen at the left and below.

Her photos included Houghton Mifflin publicity portraits of Holling and Lucille Webster Holling in the 1950s and a May 2, 1937 newspaper picture of them looking over drawings to be presented in the “World Museum,” a new Examiner feature.

Meanwhile, Joan and the museum workers are under pressure preparing exhibits in time for a Leslie Chamber of Commerce luncheon and program from about noon to 2:00. “Then,” she writes, “a group of 6th graders will have their annual history scavenger hunt around town. They have local history questions to answer. Some of the answers will be found in the museum as well as from the town's businesses.” A Holling niece, Linda Raymond and her husband from Flint, Mich., will also visit this month.”

All of this shows that the memory of Holling and Lucille lives on among children of all ages.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tracking Holling’s Work

One of the toughest tasks confronting anyone wanting to know more about Holling’s work is to find a complete professional résumé or bibliography. As I researched the man , I found disparate dates, omissions of his publishers, and details of his graphic output.

Now, this is coming together. Below is a complete—I hope—look at his output. The information on his advertising and promotional art comes largely from Joan Hoffman at the museum in Leslie, Mich. There are still a few remaining questions, as you’ll see. And, probably, more discoveries to be made.

New Mexico Made Easy with words of modern syllables, R.F. Clancy Co., 1923 *
Sun & Smoke: Verse and woodcuts of New Mexico, H. Clancy Holling, 1923 *
Little Big Bye-and-Bye, P.F. Volland, 1926 *
Roll Away Twins, P.F. Volland, 1927 *
Claws of the Thunderbird: A Tale of Three Lost Indians, P.F. Volland Co., 1928 *
Rocky Billy, The Story of the Bounding Career of a Rocky Mountain Goat, Macmillan, 1928 *
Choo-Me-Shoo, the Eskimo, Buzza, Co., 1928 *
The Blot: Little City Cat, by Phyllis Crawford, J. Cape & H. Smith, 1930 *
Twins Who Flew Around the World, Platt & Munk Co., 1931 *
Little Folks in Other Lands, by Watty Piper (a.k.a. Eulalie Page), Platt & Munk Co., 1932 *
The Road in Storyland, by Watty Piper, Platt & Munk, 1932 *
Book of Cowboys, by Holling C. Holling, Platt & Munk, illust. Lucille Holling, 1932
Children in Other Lands, by Watty Piper, Platt & Munk Co., 1933 * [poss. 1943?]
Folk Tales Children Love, by Watty Piper?, Platt & Munk Co., 1934 * [no illust. credit]
Book of Indians, by Holling C. Holling, Platt & Munk, illust. Lucille Holling, 1935
Rum-Tum-Tummy: The Elephant Who Ate, Saalfield Publishing, 1936 * [poss. 1927?]
Little Buffalo Boy, Garden City Publishing Co., 1939, illust. also by Lucille Holling *
Paddle-to-the-Sea. Houghton Mifflin, 1941 *
Tree in the Trail, Houghton Mifflin, 1942 *
Seabird, Houghton Mifflin, 1948 *
Minn of the Mississippi, Houghton Mifflin, 1951 *
Pagoo, Houghton Mifflin, 1957 *
The Magic Story Tree: A Favorite Collection of Fifteen Fairy Tales and Fables, publisher?
1964, illust. also by Lucille Holling *

* Illustrated by Holling C. Holling and written by him unless otherwise noted

Advertising Illustration:
Canadian Pacific Cruises, 1925 (booklet, poster, menu illustrated by Holling)
Cruise to the Gateway Round the World, 40 pp.booklet
Poster advertising the above cruise, 1925
Menu cover for the above cruise and Mediterranean & West Indies cruises
Levi Strauss, 1947-48
Packard Clipper, Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 30, 1932

Magazine covers:
Junior Home, March 1928- Aug. 1929
Child Life, Sept. 1932-1933
American Junior Red Cross News, some 1952-1960
American History Illustrated, Nov. 1974.“Climax of the Whale Hunt” from Seabird

Cutouts for Children:
World Museum dioramas, newspaper insert, Sunday weekly for a year 1937
World dioramas, boxed
Set of 5, American History Series
Set of 5, Foreign Land Series
Let’s Play Eskimo, 100 piece Eskimo Village, 1937
Quaker Oats, American Frontier Series, 12 explorers, 1930s
Quaker Oats, Travels with Time Series, 6 – 2 each land, sea, air
Young Forty-Niner, Gold Rush, Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Co., 1933

2 murals on plaster from the home of Holling’s grandparents in Leslie
“The Fatal March”, Oct. 11, 1916
“Autumn’s Return”, Oct. 18, 1916
Ranch Restaurant, Chicago, Southwest theme , 1934
Hilton Hotel, Lubbock, TX, included Indian dances

Southwest Indian crafts- series on Yucca veneer by Lucille Holling
Southwest Indian dancers

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Paddle-to-the-Sea Park Dedication

Last September, residents and visitors gathered in Nipigon, Ontario, to dedicate a park where little Paddle-to-the-Sea began its journey. The community proudly unveiled a wooden sculpture commissioned for the occasion by from local chain saw artists.

The Paddle-to-the-Sea Park was more than 10 years in development, according to Joan Hoffman writing in the museum’s newsletter, Holling Collection News #6. The Grand Opening is scheduled for May 14, two weeks from now. Early reports are that kids love it, and grandparents have a hard time convincing them it’s time to leave.

For further information, contact Ms. Hoffman at or The Nipigon site carries multiple photos, directions and news.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mystery Solved! Jacket Belonged to HCH

I love a good mystery—detectives that pick up clues and all—so I was intrigued in January by an e-mail from a Chris Martin in California, asking whether Holling had served in the U.S. Army. He’d been given a jacket that might have belonged to Holling, who once lived in his neighborhood.

Beats me, I thought, wondering how he'd found me, but forwarded his message on to Joan Hoffman in Michigan and suggested she respond as well.

“Chris,” I wrote when he stated that he’d heard from her, “so glad to be a matchmaker. Joan Hoffman has been cc'ing me on her correspondence with you. I hope the [Army] jacket proves to be Holling's.”

The e-mails bounced back and forth almost daily. Holling had been in the Army for a short period during World War I and it was likely this was one he wore. Hoffman found a photo—and it matched the jacket!

On Jan. 24, Martin wrote to Hoffman as they arranged to have the jacket sent from Pasadena to Leslie, Mich., “I am glad it will be an addition to the museum. It's funny, this all came up because I was trying to find our copy of Paddle-to-the-Sea to read to my 9-year-old boy. I still have the hardbound copy my mom bought in the late 50s or early 60s at a bookstore in Pasadena, California. It was while looking for the book (plus my copies of Minn, and Tree in the Trail) that I came across the box with the coat in it. Now if I can only find the books I will be completely happy! Garages are museums in themselves.”

About two days later, the mystery was concluded with Martin’s e-mail to me: “As a wrap up, Joan and the museum have the coat and I found your review on I think Grinnell's [college library] website. I had been Googling Holling’s name looking for a CD version of an audio recording of Paddle-to-the-Sea done by Liona Boyd.

“I'm finding other people who know about Holling and his genius is a real treat. I am still trying to find my original hardbounds of Holling's books to read to my 9-year-old. My mom bought them at Vroman's Books in Pasadena probably in the late 50s or early 60s. Like the coat, the books are in a box somewhere in the garage, however unfortunately I am the curator of that museum and haven't a clue.”

Joan Hoffman replied to our new-found friend, “I understand about home museums. Our basement and barn certainly qualify. Hopefully you will find the three Holling books in your garage. They very possibly could be original editions and who knows, perhaps Holling signed them. He often did that at books stores when his books first came out. But most important, your son is at a good age for those Houghton Mifflin books.”

I wrote to Martin a day or two later, “Joan Hoffman e-mailed me and was searching for an address so their museum secretary could send you a snail mail thank-you. HCH was a part of my growing up, and no one was more surprised than I to find Amazon still carries many of his titles—and at about the same price. Vroman's book store also brought back memories of when I was in the 9th grade in South Pasadena.”

I added, “If you want another treat, Google Lucille Holling images. She illustrated many of Hecht’s books, but was a grand plein air illustrator in her own right. Her painting of the biplane flying over the California coast is on my ‘must have’ list of posters. Again, I'm so very glad to have been the ‘marriage broker’ to get that coat to Michigan!”

Each person’s encounter with Holling’s books always seems to bring out unique memories.
Martin wrote on Feb. 26, “All I need out of all of this is the hope that other kids read these books. We are in a day when many of these older books aren't considered the correct things to be reading but my fascination with those books was much a result of the fabulous illustrations.

“My older son (now 17) loves to this day Paddle-to-the-Sea. When he was about 9 in Cub Scouts he and I got a hard piece of Douglas fir about 2 feet long, and over several months whittled it down into a canoe with a Native American seated in it (my excuse to my wife for getting a decent Dremel tool). After painting and sealing we gave it to a friend who took it to Hawaii. As far as I know he hooked up there with a marine biologist at an Aquarium who promised to set ‘Paddle’ free about 100 miles off shore. We engraved our then Post Office box on the bottom and a note just like in the book but after eight years I doubt it's even legible if he is still at sea. It could still be floating around out there somewhere. The things dreams are made of.”

Martin wrote to Hoffman on Mar. 1, “Really isn't so much of a gift, just sending on something that Holling may have inadvertently laid aside—I hope he didn't mean to throw it away—but as a bit of a history buff I understand the horror and carnage of World War I might lead anyone to put aside the vestiges of that sort of thing.

“I have made a new acquaintance of yourself and Walt and finding people who enjoy Holling's work is a great reward! I am going to look into Walt's recommendation of finding some of Lucille's posters if they are still in print.”

Sadly, Joan Hoffman notes, “the museum has been closed now nine months. While wooden cabinets, glass display and file cabinets were moved back in during January, that's as far as it went. The flood in late May 2009 really hit the workers hard. The enthusiasm died. The funds we had were eaten up by legal costs to get our museum charter and original start up costs. Another factor right now is next year the village celebrates its 175 anniversary. Village groups are rallying around that anniversary with plans to raise funds for all sorts of events for the three- day events and the museum isn't getting any attention.

“I have been the only one doing much about a museum collection. The Holling Collection now far exceeds the space the museum has for it. I will have to rotate what is displayed. I have picked up much of the collection cost outside of the large donation of items by the two nieces. I'm not complaining; it has been by choice. Often there were opportunities to obtain something that might not come around again.”

One takeaway from this exchange has been to seize the moment and act on it. Have no regrets for leaving things undone—or mail unanswered.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blessings from Strange Places

Joan Hoffman’s serendipity in the summer of 2009 was the discovery of Holling Clancy Holling murals that once decorated a Chicago restaurant. Such is the stuff of literary—or graphic—archeology that the author, painter and naturalist’s work continues to show up in the oddest places.

Holling Clancy Holling (Aug. 2, 1900-Sept. 7, 1973) has entranced seven decades of young readers with Paddle-to-the-Sea, Seabird, and other stories. Little has been chronicled about this Michigan-born writer who fell in love with the West. Still, Ms. Hoffman and kindred spirits have sustained the small Leslie Area Historical Museum in Leslie, Mich., to perpetuate his memory. And, bit by bit, strange finds keep popping up to broaden our awareness of Holling’s work.
She reports, “In early June, a gentleman, Bob Drake, from Colorado contacted me. In 1934, his grandfather, impressed with Holling’s knowledge of the Southwest, hired the Hollings [Holling and his wife Lucille] to decorate his new restaurant in Chicago that became known as the Ranch Restaurant. Incredibly, when the restaurant closed in the 1950s, Bob’s dad scraped some of the paintings, which had been painted on canvas, off the walls. These remained in an attic until Bob carted them off to Colorado. They now decorate the Drakes’ home. Bob was so kind to share excellent pictures of these murals. They are beautiful pieces of Holling art, mainly depicting Indian food gathering and hunting.”

Such is the detective work of investigators—and museum directors—tracking down elusive literary ephemera. Shortly after my article on Holling appeared in the ABC of Children’s Literature Fall 2008 newsletter, Ms. Hoffman wrote to me, “On [Jan. 21, 2009] one of the Quaker Oats American Frontiers cutouts series that I found on eBay came and I am real pleased with that because it is important in telling the story of Holling. That series opened the door for Holling to work with Houghton Mifflin. The one I got was #10 Lewis and Clark. Each of those showed the explorer, a native of the time (Sa-Ca-Ja-Wea, Bird Woman), a landscape view of the Rocky Mountains, and animals of the region (mule deer, coyote, coneys, mountain goat). Then [the cereal buyer] gets the whole story on what would be the bottom of the box (only 4 1/4 in. x 1 ¾ in.), by using only key words and short phrases.”

A 129-page master's thesis written by Hazel Gibb Hinman in 1958 at the University of Redlands California also contains clues Ms. Hoffman is following. Few children’s books writers enjoy financial comfort and Holling was no different. Ms. Hoffman notes that his illustrations included brochures for Cunard Tours, magazine covers for Junior Home Magazine, covers for American Junior Red Cross News, ads for Packard Clipper and Desoto, work on four projects at Disney Studios over several years, wall murals for the restraurant in Chicago and a hotel in Texas, designing a ranch in Montana, illustrations for Bookhouse, Book Trails, and Absurd Atlas, and the Quaker Oats marketing program.

Learning about the museum, a Holling niece recently donated some 200 Holling letters, original paintings, and colored World Museum newspaper inserts. Ms. Hoffman writes, “Those World Museum inserts are important because they finally allowed the Hollings to be financially independent so they could devote their full time to writing children's books.”

Ms. Hoffman can be proud of the clues Holling admirers provide. The memory of Holling and Lucille is still very much alive in Leslie, Mich., as elements of the past are collected, catalogued and presented to the public.

--Walt Giersbach